(Photo: Reuters/Brian Snyder)
Ann Romney, the wife of GOP front-runner Mitt Romney, said Monday that she didn't consider herself wealthy, and as someone suffering from multiple sclerosis, she now has more compassion for others who are suffering.
"[O]ne thing this disease has been for me has been a wonderful teacher," Mrs. Romney said during an interview on Fox News. "And with that comes an ability for compassion for others that are suffering from M.S. or cancer or any disease I feel like I want to throw my arms open and say, welcome to my family and welcome to the place where I've been and, so you know, we can be poor in spirit and I don't look – I don't even consider myself wealthy which is an interesting thing. It can be here today and gone tomorrow…"
Moments after the candidate's wife made the comments, media sites including Twitter and blog posts began circulating her comment about not being wealthy. Think Progress, an ultra-liberal website, first reported the story.
David French, who along with his wife Nancy blog on the site Evangelicals for Mitt, said anyone who watched the interview or read a transcript of Mrs. Romney's comments would have to reach far not to understand the meaning of her statement.
"You really have to read that comment in a negative way not to comprehend its true meaning," French told The Christian Post. "Ann's disease is a struggle not only for her, but for the entire family and her comments reflect a sentiment that is true and real. And only in these ridiculous times does someone not understand the spirit of the message."
Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul responded with a tweet, calling the Democratic attacks, "a new low."
Much of the criticism comes from the fact that the Romneys have an income of more than $20 million annually, primarily from investment income derived from his earnings from his days at Bain Capital.
Mrs. Romney often appears on the campaign trail with her husband, but those close to the campaign say the exhausting schedule of a presidential campaign takes its toll on her.
"A presidential campaign is probably the most exhausting political activity there is," added French. "But still, Ann prevails through it all and is a credit to her husband's campaign."
"The Romneys reached out to my family when I was in serving in Iraq, plus Mitt shut down his firm (Bain Capital) when an employee's child was missing. The Romneys actions speech volumes about who they are and their genuine, caring nature. Ann will make a great First Lady."